Dealing with child support issues, rules, and regulations can be confusing and exhausting. If you have found yourself in a situation regarding child support, you might be asking some questions; if that is the case, you have come to the right page. Below, some of the most frequently asked questions about child support are answered.
WHO CAN OBTAIN CHILD SUPPORT?
Any parent that has custody of a child in Oklahoma can obtain child support (if paternity can be proven).
HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT DETERMINED?
There is a basic child support guideline that was created by the Oklahoma Legislature, whenever a child support order comes into place, it is based upon said guidelines. To calculate the minimal amount of child support paid, the guidelines are referred to. There is a software program that is implemented in order to calculate the child support amounts.
HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATED?
Child support is calculated by the use of a statewide formula [or guideline]. In order to access a child support calculator, you can click here.
There are various factors that will be taken into account in the determination of the final number, for example:
• How many children the parents have together
• Visitation and how much time each parent spends with their child or children
• Financial income or potential financial income (earned or granted)
• Health insurance expenses and plans
• Various child expenses such as daycare, etc.
• Any support paid for children in other relationships
Other costs involved in child support can include, but are not limited to, educational expenses, special needs etc., and the traveling for visitation from one parent to the other.
IS THERE A WAY TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH THE OTHER PARENT IS EARNING – FOR PURPOSES REGARDING CHILD SUPPORT?
Once a year, Oklahoma law states that a parent may request information on the other parent's income [either on April 15th or afterwards]… Read the actual law, via The Oklahoma State Courts Network, as written below:
“On or after April 15th of each year, the obligor or obligee may make a written request to the other party for the other party's previous tax year W-2 forms, 1099 form, or other wage and tax information. This request shall be served upon the other party in the same manner prescribed for the service of summons in a civil action, and the original request shall be filed in the court file. The party receiving such a written request shall provide the requesting party a copy of the requested information by certified mail within ten (10) days of receiving the written request. If a motion to modify child support is subsequently filed by the requesting party, and it is shown to the court that the non-moving party failed to comply with this section, the court may award the moving party his or her attorney's fees and costs incurred as a result of the failure to provide requested information.”
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF QUITTING A JOB IN ORDER TO TRY AND DISCONTINUE/LOWER CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS?
There can be unfortunate consequences if a judge finds out that parent quit their job in order to lower their child support payments. Regardless of the absence of that job, the judge may rule that the previous income will still outline the amount due, etc.
HOW LONG WILL CHILD SUPPORT HAVE TO BE PAID FOR?
Child support is legally supposed to be paid until the child becomes 18 years of age [unless the child has not graduated from high school]. In the case that the child has not yet graduated from high school, then the child support must continue to be paid until the child is 20 years of age, or graduates from high school, by means of whichever comes before the other. If the child is over the age of 19, then according to Oklahoma law, the judge does not hold the power to enforce payment for child support [except if the child suffers from a mental or physical disability]. If there is a mutual agreement between the parents, then a continuation of child support may continue throughout college. This is taken into account and determined by the Family Law Court.
HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT PAID?
After a particular amount is decided and set into place, this amount will then be deducted from the wages of the paying parent [unless a different agreement is settled by the custodial parent].
WHAT IF MY CHILD'S PARENT LEFT OKLAHOMA?
If the parent has left the state, but the court order was implemented in Oklahoma, then that parent does not have the right to modify the child support payment. Only the Oklahoma court has this ability. The only case where another state may modify the original child support order is if both parents legally agree to it, or if both parents have moved out of the state of Oklahoma.
We know how difficult it can be dealing with family/relationship issues regarding finances, etc., and if you have found yourself in a position where you are asking these questions, then you might be in need of a child support attorney in Oklahoma City or in Norman, OK. Various stipulations can create multiple complications in such cases, and it is important that you are fully aware of your rights and fully understand your obligations. Here at, Worden Law Firm, we can help. Please, don't hesitate to contact us today, and let us help you simplify the process.